Five Hills royalty pay tribute to nation’s fallen heroes

Special to Leader-Press

Jr. Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer only knows life as a military child. She understands the importance of military service with an understanding of selfless commitment instilled in her by her parents. 
Sawyer and the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty spent Memorial Day weekend paying tribute to fallen service members and veterans and soldiers still serving today.
“With my father being a soldier who has been deployed alot, it’s special to have him as one of the survivors because that could be any of the soldiers who go overseas who don’t come home to their families,” the third grader said. “It’s important to pay tribute to service members because they are out there willing to give everything for us. They have to know we won’t forget that and what they do matters.”
The titleholders were clad in red, white and blue formal attire as they represented the City of Copperas Cove in the Harker Heights Memorial Day Parade. Prior to the parade, the royalty walked through the parade line-up thanking veterans for their service to the nation, shaking their hands and offering hugs. 
Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres is proud of her father who served 27 years in U.S. Army.
“My dad showed me to be a proud American and what our country stands for,” Torres said. “He was a combat veteran who was honored with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. My dad shows me how to be strong every day. Paying tribute to our fallen soldiers is showing our gratitude for their service and commitment to our country for which I am so grateful.”
The royalty also supported VFW Post 8577’s memorial wreath laying ceremony at the Copperas Cove Cemetery where service members from Copperas Cove who died in the last year were remembered. The titleholders also attended Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans Memorial Day Ceremony where various veterans groups laid wreaths to honor fallen service members who belonged to their organizations and those who served in specific military conflicts. 
Miss Five Hills Emerald Bentley is married to a soldier in Fort Hood’s 1st Cavalry Division.
“It is with great pride that I support my husband as he serves in the Army,” Bentley said. “Our family is eternally grateful for all those who serve and have served before him. Memorial Day brings both celebratory and somber feelings. It is our job to not only remember the ones we lost, but also the friends and family they left behind.”

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